Flathead fillets with pepita pesto

Flathead fillets with pepita pesto

Something for Everyone
Ben Dearnley

If your child loves fish and chips, it should be easy enough to win him over to this healthier version. The pepita pesto may be a bigger ask, but offer it to him even so. He may surprise you and have a taste.


Quantity Ingredient
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges
600g cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons light olive oil
or 2 tablespoons rice bran oil
100g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
700g boneless flathead fillets

Pepita pesto

Quantity Ingredient
1 bunch coriander, leaves picked
or 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
40g pepitas
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 garlic clove, peeled
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. To make the pepita pesto, place the herbs, seeds and garlic in a food processor and process until the mixture is coarsely blended. Add the oil and process until well combined and finely blended. Add the lemon juice and 1–2 tablespoons water and blend until smooth, adding a little more oil or water if needed to achieve the desired consistency – the mixture should not be too thick. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Arrange the sweet potato and cauliflower on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until tender – the sweet potato may take a little longer to cook than the cauliflower. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place the flour and egg in separate shallow bowls. Dust the fish first with flour, then dip into the egg to coat on each side. Working in batches, cook the fish for about 5 minutes, turning halfway, until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel.
  4. Serve the flathead fillets with the roasted vegetables and pepita pesto on the side.

Baby’s serve

  • For a younger baby, blend together some fish, sweet potato and cauliflower until smooth, adding as much liquid (water or your baby’s milk) as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Alternatively, if your baby is managing some finger foods (which may not happen until 8–9 months or older), cut into small pieces. For an older baby, keep the puréed consistency more textured or serve as finger food.

Toddler’s serve

  • Serve as is.
Something for Everyone
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